HOW TO BODY DRAG KITESURFING
The Body Drag is one of the essential techniques of kitesurf and it is not only important to know it and practice it in the beginning, this technique is also used for more advanced riders to try new tricks without taking many risks. For example, the “kite loops”. It is very important to learn the bodydrag properly in order to be an independent rider!
WHAT DOES THE BODYDRAG CONSIST OF IN KITESURFING?
The bodydrag is an exercise with which you can experience the power of the kite in a safe and controlled way. It is about using the power of the wind to reach a certain point: it can be to land, to the board, or also move to downwind (against the wind) or upwind (in favor of the wind).
Body dragging is the technique that helps us move through the water in case of having a problem with the kitesurfing equipment, also to recover the board in case it has been lost, or that it is away from us. It is crucial to learn the bodydrag to be able to solve any situation.
The two types of bodydrag that we would have would be the «BODYDRAG DOWNWIND» and «BODYDRAG UPWIND«. Let’s remember a couple of concepts in their Anglo-Saxon names: upwind and downwind.
Moving DOWNWIND involves moving in the direction of the wind, allowing it to take us in its direction to reach a position that is leeward of us, forward, where our eyes look.
Moving UPWIND means moving against the direction of the wind, that is, towards the wind, to get to a place upwind of your position.
Having clarified this, we will now talk about the bodydrag with a little more specificity, describing the bodydrag upwind and downwind, with their respective variants.
HOW TO MAKE BODY DRAGGING DOWNWIND
The objective here is that the wind drags us in its direction, to reach any destination that is in favor of the wind. The 9 points to consider here are the following:
* The two hands should be well separated while holding the bar.
* We lie on our chest while holding the bar.
* The arms should only be used to steer, keeping the body stable despite strong impulses.
* The bar should be kept at the comfortable point, a little more powered.
* Start by flying the kite vertically close to 45º, making small and smooth figures of eights. We call to these figures power strokes
* Try to keep the strength and speed of the kite constant.
* By making the figure of eights bigger and more pronounced you can achieve more speed.
* Place the kite again at 45º to brake.
If you are looking to move faster and get a lot of power, take the kite to the power zone making bigger figures. The bigger power strokes you make, the more power you will get! Be sure that if you get a lot of power you are in deep water and not to close to the shore. You don´t want to hurt yourself
HOW TO MAKE BODY DRAG UPWIND
- We learn body dragging upwind in order to recover the board in deep water
Suppose we have fallen into the water and our feet have come out of the straps that hold the board, leaving it a few meters from us. The board may continue to gradually drift away, so it is important to look for it once we have emerged from the water. When we fall into the water, the board is almost always behind us, rarely in front of us.
How to body drag upwind?
To start the bodydrag upwind maneuver, we must place the kite at 12 o’clock and keep the bar at the comfortable point. Once this is achieved, we orient our body in the direction in which we want to move, lying down on that side. Then we position the kite at 45º, we let ourselves drag forward and to the side, we hold the kite with one hand, using your body as a large keel and your arm (the one that does not handle the kite) as a rudder, to go on that desired address. It is important to always keep the bar at the comfortable point. While you are being dragged, you should lean more on the side of your body. And always keep the bar balanced.
We must direct our kites to take us in the direction of the board, but we can never get to the board without zigzagging, we need to gird little by little. We will have to hold the bar with one of our hands, and tense our whole body. We must make an effort to be rigid and stretched. Tracing the kite to about 45º and giving it only enough power to be able to move through the water, heading upwind (against the wind). To change direction, bring the kite to 12 o’clock, then gently move it to the other side.
USING THE TABLE TO MAKE BODYDRAG
There is also the option of doing a bodydrag upwind with the board: you must hold the handle or strap with one of your hands, carry it on your chest or elbow and support the board on the edge for a better glide through the water. Learning body dragging properly is a must in order to come back safely to the shore in case of any incident!
It is convenient to locate a reference point on the beach that you can use to orient yourself and thus have an idea of where we are moving without losing our way.
IMPORTANT TIPS WHEN BODY DRAGGING
* When you need a break, place the kite at 12 and relax while floating on your back until you regain your strength.
* The more actively you need to fly the kite, the more you must hold the bar at the ends.
* Keep your hands centered to better focus on kiting and orienting yourself correctly.
* Don’t lose your orientation, especially when you are trying to retrieve your board.
* When the wind is very light you can use one of your arms and go backwards, the kite should be located at 12.
* To gird with your body, visualize a point much further than you want to go, this will help you move faster.
* When you want to retrieve your board, try to exceed it, it will cost you less than going directly to it.